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Greece’s Weather Set Records for Rain and Heat in 2020

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Credit: Greek Reporter

Last year’s weather broke records, not only for high temperatures but also for rainfall levels throughout Greece.
The year will be remembered for more than just the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. After a series of rainstorms battered Greece throughout 2020, and scorching summer months left Greeks sweltering, the year’s weather phenomena set records that no one really ever wanted to see.
Notably, the country was hit by the “Medicane” called Ianos in September of 2020, the strongest of all such rare Mediterranean cyclones recorded since 1969.
The storm’s unprecedented flooding and destructive winds killed four people in Greece and caused widespread damage across the country, especially in Karditsa and the Ionian islands.

Torrential rainstorms

The country’s highest levels of rainfall last year were recorded on the island of Crete, which was the unfortunate center of many of 2020’s numerous torrential rainstorms.
Two areas of Crete, Asi Gonia and Askyfou, both near the city of Chania, were the wettest in the country, where precipitation reached an incredible 2,865 mm (112.8 inches) and 2,650 mm (104.3 inches), respectively.
While Crete was the wettest region of the country, the Cycladic and Dodecanese islands were the driest, seeing very little rain at all throughout the year.
The island of Ios, located in the Cyclades halfway between Naxos and Santorini, recorded the least amount of rainfall in the past year, with a scant 263 mm (10.3 inches).
Following Ios in that unfortunate drought were Derveni, in Corinth, and Nisyros, an island in the Dodecanse, with just 276 mm (10.9 inches) and 275 mm (10.8 inches) of precipitation, respectively.

greece weather records
Agios Demetrios Beach, Alonissos. Credit: Patricia Claus/Greek Reporter

Searing high temperatures throughout Summer 2020

Two heatwaves, one in mid-May and the other in late July and early August, brought about some record-high temperatures in Greece.
The hottest days ever on record were tied last year. In Plora, near the city of Heraklion, Crete, the temperature reached a steamy 41.8 C (107 Fahrenheit) on May 16. The town of Kranidi, in Argolida, recorded the same scorching temperature on August 1.
However, large fluctuations also occurred in the realm of temperatures last year as well, with the northern Greek town of Grevena nabbing the title for the coldest day of the year, where, on January 8, 2020, the temperature dropped to -12.6 C (9 Fahrenheit).

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